From Manchester to: Marseille

By Tim Alderson | Last updated 28 July 2017

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Once maligned as crime ridden and dirty, Marseille is fast becoming one of the most enticing holiday destinations in Europe. You can find unique cuisine, fascinating museums and truly vibrant nightlife, all with the back drop of some the most stunning coastlines in the world. It’s not hard to see why France’s second city is topping lists as the best place to take your city break right now.

It has to be said French cuisine is not famed for its fusion food. There has not always been much room for foreign influences with a people that take so much pride in their culinary traditions, however there are exceptions, and Marseille is one of them. The presence of a large north African contingent in the city is quite evident when it comes to the restaurant scene, and you’re just as likely to see cous cous as a croissant on the tightly wound streets near the old port – in fact you can find Moroccan style dishes on the menu in bars throughout the city. If you fancy a proper meal try the excellent Sur le Pouce which offers delicious food at affordable prices.


That’s not to say you can’t find a French fancy or two either though, there are some magnificent bakeries dotted around the city, none better than La Vague Gourmande on Promenade Corniche John Kennedy. It goes without saying you can find fantastic seafood in Marseille, the city’s most famous dish, a fish stew called bouillabaisse, is a must try and can be enjoyed in any number of places around town.


Should you fancy a bit of culture and some impressive architecture you could do a lot worse than Mucem, an art museum overlooking the water with a rooftop cafe, but then again for a real local experience the Stade Velodrome could be a better choice. In a city obsessed with football what better way to get a feel for the place than to watch Olympique de Marseille run out in their magnificent stadium. Recently renovated for Euro 2016, it really is a sight to behold and the atmosphere inside the ground is notoriously fervent, you don’t need to know your football to appreciate this one.


With that west facing coastline spectacular sunsets come as standard in Marseille, and there are plenty of spots to grab a chilled glass of local rose and take in the views. If you fancy something a little bit different then try La Friche la Belle de Mai, it’s an art space housed in an old tobacco factory that hosts regular events on their vast roof space. Grab a bottle of wine and some pizza and watch live bands play until late, when the party moves into the basement club below. The views over the city are incredible and it’s a great place to sample the unrivalled party spirit of the city.


If you’re in need of a bit of fresh air to blow away the cobwebs after all that you’re in luck. Just to the east of Marseille sit Les Calanques, a beautifully rugged national park that can be explored on foot or by boat. If you’re feeling adventurous then take a bus or taxi out of town and explore one of the many routes around the rocky enclaves, or should you fancy something a little less labour intensive there are regular boat tours from the old port from which you can get a great view of the amazing landscape, some of which have stops where you can take a dip in the sea.

Easyjet fly weekly from Manchester to Marseille